Salt taste transduction occurs through an amiloride-sensitive sodium transport pathway

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Science  27 Jan 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4634, pp. 403-405
DOI: 10.1126/science.6691151


An important early event in mammalian gustatory transduction with respect to sodium chloride has been found to be the passage of sodium ions through specific transport pathways in the apical region of the taste bud. The inward current caused by sodium chloride placed on the mucosal surface of an in vitro preparation of rat dorsal lingual epithelium can be substantially reduced by the blocker of sodium ion transport, amiloride. The data show (i) that amiloride is a specific blocker of the chorda tympani response to sodium chloride, but not to potassium chloride, (ii) that the sodium and potassium gustatory systems are largely independent at the peripheral level, and (iii) that the classical ion taste "receptor" is actually a specific transport pathway permitting the cation to enter the taste-bud cell and thereby to spread depolarizing current.

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